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Japan's new missile defense system couldn't intercept Chinese missiles in real battle: experts

By Li Yan (People's Daily Online)    16:22, February 07, 2017

The U.S. and Japan successfully conducted a missile interception test off the Hawaiian islands on Feb. 4. The USS John Paul Jones destroyed the target ballistic missile using its Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor, reports stated. But an expert pointed out that Japan's new weapon is unable to threaten China.

Military observers believe the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, together with the U.S.-backed Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, have created a wider defensive range against China, and will threaten the security of the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

"China always believes that the anti-missile issue bears on global strategic stability and mutual trust among major powers, and therefore shall be approached with great care," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference on Feb. 6. "We are firmly against the U.S. and the ROK deploying the THAAD anti-missile defense system in the ROK," Lu continued.

A Russian analyst said the U.S. global missile defense system ultimately targets the nuclear deterrent capability of China and Russia.

Yang Chengjun, a Chinese missile expert, said that once the upgrade and deployment of the SM-3 system is completed, it will encourage Japanese militarism and threaten the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. and Japan also discussed ballistic missile defense during U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis's visit to Japan, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported. The SM-3 system will greatly enhance Japan's ballistic missile defense capability, Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun stated.

"But the SM-3 system couldn't intercept any Chinese missiles in real battle," Yang noted.

Shunzi Taoka, a Japanese military analyst, thinks that for Washington, a harmonious bilateral relationship with China is more important than one with Japan. Apart from counterbalancing China, the U.S. is attempting to develop a relationship of trust with China. While Japan is dreaming about encircling China with the help of U.S., the latter is giving China a warm hug, he described.

"I can not help but ask, who is on earth trapped inside the circle?" he wondered. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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